Introduction to work experience and enterprise

Effective enterprise learning takes place in an environment - a school, community or business setting.

Whilst Schools can deliver meaningful enterprise learning in limited curriculum time in school, work experience combines the time with the environment to create the ideal opportunity for effective enterprise learning to take place.

The use of the data book and website will develop students’ enterprise skills and get the most out their work experience.

Work experience

Play the health and safety sign gameWork experience is defined as ‘a placement on an employer’s premises in which a learner carries out a particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less, as would an employee, but with an emphasis on the learning aspects of the work experience’ (DfES, 2002).

Work experience is unique because it means that young people spend time in a placement doing real work for a real employer in a real organisation. While they are on their placement they will:

  • apply online download application form be treated like adults
  • work closely with adults
  • behave in a safe and responsible way
  • find out what they are good at
  • learn new skills
  • collect evidence to show off their new skills

Enterprise education

Enterprise education can help raise aspirations and develop valuable skills for both higher education and employment. 

Enterprise Education involves the development of Enterprise capability  - the ability to handle uncertainty and respond positively to change, to create and implement new ideas and ways of doing things, to make reasonable risk/reward assessments and act upon them in one's personal and working life.  Enterprise capability can also be described as: innovation, creativity, risk-management, and a 'can-do' attitude and the drive to make ideas happen (DfES 2005)

Enterprise capability is supported by:

  • Financial capability - the ability to manage one's own finances and to become questioning and informed consumers of financial services ;and
  • Business and economic understanding - the ability to understand the business context and make informed choices between alternative uses of scarce resources

Enterprise, in the broadest sense, means making an idea happen. Whether it be at work, at school or in the wider community. It's about equipping young people with the attitude and skills that will be important to them throughout their lives.

Enterprise skills include:

  • creativity
  • problem solving
  • taking the initiative
  • team working
  • risk taking
  • resourcefulness
  • selling ideas

Young people also need to have an understanding of business, be able to work with finance and possess a ‘can-do’ attitude.

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